We’ve talked about how mindfulness can encourage self-compassion, lack of judgment, and acceptance for things as they are.
It can also help us to slow down so that we start to notice more of what’s happening. This helps to encourage curiosity and perhaps reconnect us with the experience of newness.
Newness is the same thing that sparks a look of wonder on the face of an infant in discovery mode. It’s often called “beginner’s mind” and one way to practice it is to incorporate it into everyday life.
An exercise from Elisha Goldstein’s book, A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook* gives us a fresh example,
“ . . . if you’re cooking, you can practice doing it as if for the first time. Approaching the task with a beginner’s mind, feel the textures and experience the aromas as you cut the onions, carrots, and greens, without judgments about yourself, the food, or your cooking.Acknowledge your self-reliance – that you can care for yourself and others by cooking this meal…
If your mind kicks into high gear and tries to rush through the experience of cooking, practice nonstriving, knowing that you’ve already arrived at the present moment and coming back to the task at hand…
Notice how your body and mind feel when these attitudes are present and how your mind and body feel when they aren’t.”
Small exercises like this help to remind us to continue mindfulness practice through out the day.
For more on Elisha’s work, check out our mindfulness programs here.
Are there activities that you recommend your patients incorporate into their daily routines? Please share them below.
* Used with permission from the author